Dr. Bresee visited the Ashland Church in June 1905. He thus described the work as he found it.
“Here the Church of the Nazarene has found its way, and hence this pilgrimage hitherto also. We arrived Friday evening, June 9th. The pastor, Brother S. B. Rhoades, and Mrs. Stoner met us at the depot, giving us a hearty welcome. We were soon in pleasant quarters as the guest of Sister Stoner. It was the planting here of this precious family of Nazarenes that has brought forth the harvest which is being fathered. They have been faithful and definite in their faith and testimony and the God of Holiness has been faithful to them. Not without difficulty and temptations, not without some of the manifestations of the spirit of persecution have these heroic souls seen the victories which have been already won. There are more than fifty members in this young church, many of whom have recently been brought in the Kingdom. They have the real spirit, the enthusiasm, the holy joy, and the heavenly triumph which belongs to this Pentecostal work. A delightful Sabbath School filled the hall on Sunday morning. There was good attendance and much blessing. In these few meetings, there were some conversions, some souls were sanctified, nine united with the church and there are more to follow.”
During that same visit he said this about our music:
“One of the marked features here is the joy and triumph of their singing. A band of anointed singers, conducted by Miss Pearl Stoner, led the people in the most triumphant service of song that we have heard. It is worth a trip here to hear and join in these shouts of victory.”
The first District Assembly was held in Spokane, Washington, July 4th and 5th, 1905. The newly organized district was comprised of the states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Although there were actually only five organized churches in the District, there was an enthusiastic group of people at this Assembly ready to go forth to organize other churches and spread scriptural holiness throughout the great Northwest. From this humble beginning, it is remarkable to consider the hundreds of churches, our great university at Nampa, and the thousands of members that now constitute this great movement in the Northwest.
“This is the Lord’s doing; and is it marvelous in our eyes.” — Psalms 118:23
Rev. Rhoades, as a delegate from Ashland to this first assembly, submitted the following report:
“Our membership is fifty. Our Sunday School average is fifty-five with a good corps of teachers. The young people’s meeting recently set in order is well attended and is conducted by Sister Pearl Stoner. We have adopted the tithing system and find tithing meets our needs. Also, we have adopted the missionary plan of tithing our offerings for the missionary fund. We have a good body of active, sanctified workers, alive for God and the advancement of his kingdom. The outlook is good, the uplook is better.”